Source for inexpensive tiles?

ernie85017, zn 9, phxSeptember 1, 2011

This does get pricey, doesn't it?

Do you know of a source for inexpensive materials? Even the plates I got at the thrift store aren't priced like they used to be. My first stepping stone showed me that I will need far more stones, etc, than I had expected.

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Hi Ernie! I was checking out your PAGE for info of where you live, but it is slim pickin's of info!lol! I don't know if you have tile stores and such where you live, they usually have bits and pcs that they give away or for cheap. Also I check out website based used items, such as craigslist,etc. Ask the thrift store for the broken dishes/cups/etc and see if theywould give them to you. Garage sales/yard sales.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 12:52AM
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Also, it depends on whether you're making pieces for outside or inside. The cheapest tiles are often ceramic, but they aren't recommended for exterior. I've been getting away with it because I'm in California. Or coldest temps don't go below 20.

Check any tile stores in your area. I found one that throws all their excess tile in a pile behind the store. Artists can come take what they want for free. Of course, the cheapest tiles I find are also the earth tones people use in their home which isn't always the preference for mosaics. Those you can get on discount at Lowes or Home Depot.

But if it's vitreous glass tiles you're looking for, I searched and searched the internet and my go-to site is They have the combination of good prices, good service, and flexible quantities.

I use a combination of all of the above, depending on the piece.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 8:59AM
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ernie85017, zn 9, phx

Thanks. I will try for the thrift store and tile stores. Hadn't even thot of tile specialty stores.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 9:09AM
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Hi Ernie - Is 85017 your zip code?

If you do live in AZ there should be tile closeout places around. These are usually on craigslist and they have partial boxes left from jobs or irregular tiles that are fine for mosaic.

Check for a Habitat ReStore, mine has great deals on tile. The thrift stores are a little high here too, I prefer garage sales and junk shops that have stuff just piled around.

Lowe's and HD have closeouts and clearance tables all the time and you can get some good stuff if you keep looking.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 9:51AM
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ernie85017, zn 9, phx

Got off work early and hit 2 Goodwills. Found a BOWLING BALL! I rarely see those in the thrifts any more, and there were 6!
Bright plates, bowls, and clear colored glass for a planned glass vase so the light will shine through.
More of those glass blobs for flowers. They look nice on my first project, a stepping stone.
Off to look for more inspiration on the group.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 8:45PM
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Good for you! I've become a Goodwill and Salvation Army junkie since becoming interested in Mosaics. It's fun and you never know what you might find.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 10:16PM
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Good job Ernie, it just takes time. I collected and read a lot before starting projects.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 9:34AM
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I have also gotten some tiles for FREE using "Freecycle". Google "Freecycle your town". I put in "Freecycle Asheville" and found a local group. It's Yahoo group so you will have to set up a yahoo account and join, but it's worth it!!! Got 4 bowling balls that way too, and loads of glass and tiles!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 8:48AM
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